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#303736 - 12/09/07 08:17 AM Arranger VS. Synth today
igorpan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 3
Hi all!
I'm a noob with this stuff (I play acoustic piano) and I want to buy Roland E-50. The Truth is : I am confused with Arranger - Synth difference. Someone told me : "Synth doesn't have drum machine, but you can make your own sounds on it. Arranger has drum machine, but sound creating options are very restrictive."

Than, I listened to some demo of Korg Triton, and I am sure I hear drums, but it is written that song comes 100% from synth. HOW ?

Is it better for me to buy that Roland E-50 or, for example Triton LE ? Can e-50 create sounds ?

Please explain me, I'm a total noob.

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#303737 - 12/09/07 06:29 PM Re: Arranger VS. Synth today
kbrkr Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 2816
Loc: Tampa, FL
HI,

The differences between the two instruments are starting to blur. I own the Tyros 2 and the Triton Extreme and I just purchased the Korg M3. The main difference between the two is that the arranger keyboards have preset arrangements that are button triggered and contain variations for those arrangements to add intros, endings, and fills.

With a synth, the drums and bass parts are generated by the sequencer which must be programmed by the user. Althought the sequences can follow chord recognition, they are not as dynamic as those on an arranger.

The exception to this is on the new M3 synth from Korg. The M3 has Karma technology which actually generates grooves from the chords and base drum sequences that you play. It actually creates many complex variations on 4-5 tracks of music including the base line. It does have chord recognition as well.

So if you are a composer you would probably be better served with a synth since it has more creative control, whereas the Arranger really is for performing live cover songs.

Hope that helps.


------------------
Al Giordano
http://www.arrangerworld.com


Tyros 2, Yamaha P-250, Korg Triton Extreme 76, Roland VK8-M, DW Collectors Series Drums, Roland SPD-S.
_________________________
Al


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#303738 - 01/02/08 07:17 AM Re: Arranger VS. Synth today
kalimero Offline
Member

Registered: 07/23/07
Posts: 90
Loc: Dubrovnik, Croatia
igorpan,

Roland E-50 cannot create new sounds (samples to be precise) but can change existing ones (because sound is sample + various, changable, elements like envelope (ADSR), filters etc.).

If you want to perform live music like One-Man-Band then buy an arranger.

If You want to play music in a band, buy synth (although arrangers, sequencers, and all others are in fact synths).

If You want to create some music (in studio) buy workstation (sequencer).

There are arranger able to create new sounds (with sampler, or add-on cards) but they are quite expensive (2000 USD - up), and mostly used by professionals (people who earn money playing like OMB).

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#303739 - 01/16/08 12:24 PM Re: Arranger VS. Synth today
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Only area I would disagree is with the choice of synth for playing live in a band.

Modern arrangers can be FAR more user-friendly for calling up sounds and effects on-the-fly than any modern workstation. If you have time to prepare all this in advance, yes, the sound versatility of the WS gets the nod.

But if you play live with 'pickup' bands, or seldom rehearse, and just 'wing it', an arranger makes it MUCH easier to just call up the splits and layers than a WS.

Arrangers... they are not just for OMB's anymore...

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#303740 - 01/16/08 12:36 PM Re: Arranger VS. Synth today
kbrkr Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 2816
Loc: Tampa, FL
With that said, I've seen many one-man-band types using a synthesizer (Roland Fantom X).

Go Figure?

------------------
Al Giordano
http://www.arrangerworld.com


Tyros 2, Yamaha P-250, Korg Triton Extreme 76, Roland VK8-M, DW Collectors Series Drums, Roland SPD-S.
_________________________
Al


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#303741 - 01/17/08 11:27 AM Re: Arranger VS. Synth today
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
They are using the WS just for SMF backing, though, unless they are doing trance or hiphop loop-based musics (that WS do very well). There is no interactivity with the backing on a WS, you just play over it karaoke style...

THAT'S what arrangers give you... the flexibility to change anything and everything DURING a song, while you perform. WS's still trail that ability by a wide margin.

I think a simpler advice to give is... if you are doing modern dance musics (trance, house, techno, hiphop and rap) you need a workstation. If you are playing older musics than this, you need an arranger. That was easy, wasn't it?!

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#303742 - 01/19/08 10:25 AM Re: Arranger VS. Synth today
igorpan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 3
I was at my friend who owns a studio and he sayed to me that I need a workstation because of sequencer (i like composing)...I have tried some korgs, i only remember Trinity and TR...and i will probbably buy TR because that is just in my price range (about 1000 euros) ...

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#303743 - 01/19/08 10:22 PM Re: Arranger VS. Synth today
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Most midline and up arrangers have good sequencers built in, too.

I guess a LOT boils down to... Just how GOOD of a keyboard player are you? There is a LOT of skill involved doing an entire production on a keyboard. Drum programming is a skill unto itself (to make it realistic takes some serious chops), then there is guitar programming (a nightmare to do well!), good basslines, idiomatic horns and strings, etc., etc..

An arranger can take a lot of the hard work out of making an impressive sounding backing track, with little more skill needed than just playing the right chord at the right time.

Be careful of listening JUST to workstation players... few of them have even TOUCHED an arranger in the past few years, and most of them are vastly better, sounds AND style-wise, than they were just five years ago...

If it helps, I will let you know a little about me... I work as a fulltime musician in Florida, I play live gigs either with my duo (with an acoustic guitarist, doing 70's folk-rock) or with full bands. I use a G70 Roland, and use it for ALL my live gigs, OMB or not... I have a Kurzweil K2500 at home, but that gets used less and less these days, and I never gig it (the G70 is SO much easier to get around on, and sonically, the two compare very well).

I also do extensive studio work in my area, I have a home post-production and MIDI composing setup, and work at several local pro studios, doing playing, production and arranging. I've been a full-time pro for nearly 35 years.

I think I DO know what I'm doing (at least, most of the time!)... And I'll tell you this - If you are a noob at all this, a decent arranger will get you up and running faster, and easier than anything else out there. As I said earlier, unless you are doing primarily electronica, an arranger is by FAR the better choice for you. You lose a LITTLE in the nuts and bolts of voice editing, but you gain immensely in the ease of use area.

I can do a 'rough' of a song on an arranger in ten minutes. On any workstation, that is several hours to get right! If you are a songwriter, you don't want to bog down your creativity obsessing over stringing drum patterns together, you just want to lay it down and move on. That is the arranger's forté...

May I make a couple of suggestions for models to look at and try...?

As a pianist, perhaps you might be comfortable on a 76 note keyboard, rather than a little 61...? In that case, give Roland's E60 a good looking at (you said you were looking at an E50 - I would recommend paying a little bit more for the E60).

If you can handle a REALLY light keybed, the Yamaha PSR S900 is an excellent value for money, with some incredibly good guitar sounds. Guitars are, IMO, the hardest thing to get right on a keyboard, and Yamaha's Mega Voice technology makes the automatic ones in the styles sound very realistic. But it is a 61

Korg have a brand new (not shipping yet) PA500 in the same price bracket (a 61) that may be worth a look, too. Especially if you are looking to do extensive voice editing. They are the best at this, but most of the time songwriting, the built-in sounds work fine without much tweaking...

But... in a nutshell - Doing electronica? Get a workstation. Doing more conventional style music? Get an arranger...

I've got both, but I play my arranger more and more, these days.

Hope this helps

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#303744 - 01/24/08 03:21 PM Re: Arranger VS. Synth today
igorpan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 3
Thank you very much...i'm not sure if it helps because I am now much more confused ...
I have tried some arrangers...it's amazing how you can play song with no sequencing at all, just chords in the left and solos in right hand...

I have calmed down a little now (in two earlier posts I was on fire to buy something )...Bought Oxygen61 (master keyboard with some controlers on it),they didnt have 88 keyboard just to see how this stuff works and to get some idea about this and not spare much money...

I'm mostly playing rock and gothic,simphonic metal (Nightwish,Within Temptation etc.), but i like to do some oldies,techno,even some folk music from my region...

so now I will think about this a little more rationally...will learn more about this stuff..and until than I will probably have enough money for something more powerful..

BTW, i was kidding at the top, your post helped a lot...

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#303745 - 01/31/08 11:32 PM Re: Arranger VS. Synth today
Nigel Offline
Admin

Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 6185
Loc: Ventura CA USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Diki:
Arrangers... they are not just for OMB's anymore...



That's very true. And as you say in many ways they are probably better in many ways for pulling up complex setups quickly in a live situation.

There is only one downside to using an arranger. On most arrangers there doesn't seem to be a way to completely lock out the arranger accompaniment features. On a few occasions I have heard an arranger backing suddenly start up in a band due to a mistaken button press. It is a total train wreck on the rare occasions that happens. It would be just nice if there was a way to lock it off/on from a menu only.

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